Wednesday, January 2, 2013
10 Things That Are "Typical" At An Autism House Party...
(originally written & published on January 2, 2013)
The wife, king, and I went to an autism holiday “house party” a few days ago. All kids on the spectrum aged 5-11, accompanied by their moms and dads. These are mostly moderate to low functioning kids with one or two higher functioning or typical siblings in the mix.
I previously wrote about how “Autism Only Birthday parties Are All Right With Me”.
I like the autism house party just as much. But unlike the birthday parties, these parties aren’t held at a gym or a pool or a fun place for the kids. They’re held at one of our homes. So, it’s really mostly an excuse for the parents to get together. I don’t think our kids enjoy it that much. They are either indifferent or ornery… but whatever, the moms and dads hang out and have fun for as long as our kids will let us….and then we make a quick escape.
And I’ve noticed a few things. So here’s a list of 10 things that are "typical" at autism house parties (at least in our section of Autism Avenue), but would be probably be untypical at a typical house party…get it? :-)
1) I walk in to the bathroom to bring my son to the potty to find the seat up and a bowl full of poop, unflushed, no toilet paper. Didn’t even give it a second thought…just flushed, and sat Kyle down for his turn…
2) Just like at typical mom & dad parties, the dads are in one room bullshitting and the women are in another room gossiping… but no one is sitting down…
3) It’s late December, late afternoon, and maybe 20 degrees outside, but there’s a boy at the party wearing only a bathing suit...nothing else…the whole time…I didn’t even bat an eye…nobody did…
4) Late into the party, the wife whispered in my ear, “don’t eat the guacamole” and I knew exactly what that meant. One of the kids had either double or triple dipped, or stuck their boogery hands right in there and grabbed some.
5) Objects are being thrown, ornaments pulled, tantrums & meltdowns, and nobody bats an eye. All you hear is “…don’t worry about it…it’s not breakable…he’s fine…leave him alone… do you want a beer?...”
6) There’s maybe 8 or 9 kids there altogether and none of them are really interacting with each other… mostly just wandering the house with one parent playing goalie, or watching shows, or reading books…there’s maybe 4-5 screens being watched at once, 2 Ipads, a tv in the playroom, and a tv in the living room, all while there’s music playing. The most interaction you’ll get between them is them getting possessive over their ipads.
7) I walked by the bathroom to take my son a second time, and this time the door was wide open and there was one of the guys taking a poop. He looked straight at me. Unfazed, I waved at him, said “good job!” and moved on and wondered if it was him left the previous toilet bowl present.
8) All autism houses in our world seem to have a backyard trampoline. And if it was just a few degrees warmer…maybe 29 degrees?...we would have thrown all the kids in the trampoline…
9) Speaking of trampolines, The rules/ warnings of how many kids are allowed on a trampoline at once, don’t apply at autism parties. “ha look at this, it says one kid at a time” In the summer, the trampolines at our autism house parties look like a clown car…
10) This might not fit in with the rest of the list, but I couldn’t really think of a 10th so here goes... We are not talking about our kids. We are not talking about autism. We’re not talking about their schools or doctors. We’re talking about sports, movies, the holidays, etc. It’s quite amazing. I’m pulling Kyle off the fireplace with one hand while holding a beer with the other hand while talking with the dads, complaining about the NY Yankees not making any moves this off-season…and nobody bats an eye… :-)
That’s it. Hope you enjoyed it!
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